App Developer Panic Announces New $149 'Playdate' Game System Coming in 2020

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Panic, a company known for developing apps for iOS and macOS, today announced plans to enter the hardware market with the launch of the Playdate, a new handheld gaming system.


Playdate features an entirely unique design with a black and white display, d-pad, A+B buttons, and a crank on the side that's designed to be similar to an analog stick.


The black and white 400 x 200 screen is not backlit, but it features a "crystal-clear image" and high reflectivity, which Panic says is "an aesthetic like no other."

On the surface, it might be tempting to compare the screen to, say, the Game Boy. But Playdate's display is quite different: it has no grid lines, no blurring, is extremely sharp and clear, and has much higher resolution. It sounds odd to say, but: it's truly a "premium" black-and-white screen.

The pocketable gaming system, which is going to come in a bright and inviting yellow color, will feature pre-installed games from developers like Zach Gage, Shaun Inman, Bennett Foddy, and Keita Takahashi.


At launch, there will be 12 games included with the system, delivered one per week for a few months. Panic says the idea is to give gamers something to look forward to. Most of the games are going to be kept secret until launch, and additional games will be added in the future.

The Playdate comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB-C port for charging, and a headphone jack.


Playdate is going to cost $149 when it becomes available for purchase in early 2020. Those interested in purchasing can sign up on the website to get notified when it's ready for purchase. Stock will be limited at launch, so Panic recommends signing up.

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago
I love Panic, but I genuinely just had to check my calendar to make sure this isn't April 1st.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Black and white? Really? :eek:

Maybe for $30-40 but at $150, they’ve definitely crossed over into you-gotta-be-kidding-me territory.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Meh I cant see this working, and Panic haven't exactly been on top form for a while now, with really poor products like Coda 2 and Transmit 5 they seem to have fallen behind the competition massively in the last couple of years.

The biggest question I have is why are they making this? Where's the gap in the market here?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

A lot of people have tried to compete with Nintendo in the handheld gaming market. This may be one of the worst attempts.

Clearly you missed that this has a “premium” black & white screen! Lol.

/s
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Does this mean we’re probably not getting that new version of Coda anytime soon?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
This will go nicely with Snapchat spectacles and the Kozmo robot thing!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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